Romanian Personal Names

Modern Romanian personal names have the structure of “[first name] + [surname]” (e.g., Angela Gheorghiu).

Until the reform of family names in the middle of the 19th century, personal names typically took the form “[first name] + [father’s name] + [grandfather’s name]”.  After the reform, the patronymic derived from the father’s first name (often with the suffix -escu, e.g., Vasilescu) generally became the surname.

Romanian surnames do not have variable gender-specific endings. Typical endings for surnames are -escu, -ăscu, -eanu, -anu, -an, -aru, -atu, or -oiu (e.g., Popescu, Brediceanu, Draganu, Florian).

Example (in MARC format):

100 1  Grigorescu, Nicolae, ǂd 1838-1907

370     Romania

374     Painters ǂ2 lcsh

375     male

400 1  Grigoresku, Nikolaĭ, ǂd 1838-1907

400 1  Grigoresco, Nicolas, ǂd 1838-1907

670     Cioflec, V. Grigorescu ... 1925.

670     Grigorescu pictor al naturii, 2007: ǂb p. 41 (b. May 15, 1838) p. 47 (d. July 21, 1907)

Special instructions:

1. Names containing a patronymic

RDA F.9.1 states that “If a name of a person whose language is Romanian contains a patronymic with the suffix -ade, [the cataloger should] record that patronymic as the first element.”

Example (in MARC format):

100 1  Heliade Rădulescu, Ion, ǂd 1802-1872

400 1  Eliade Rădulescu, Ion, ǂd 1802-1872

400 1  Rădulescu, Ion Heliade, ǂd 1802-1872

400 1  Heliade Rădulescu, I. ǂq (Ion), ǂd 1802-1872

667     Old catalog heading: Heliade-Rădulescu, Ion, 1802-1872.

670     Tomoiagă, R. Ion Eliade Rădulescu, 1970.

670     His Scrisori inedite ale lui I. Heliade Rădulescu către preotul Cosma Moșescu din Brăila între anii 1857-1872, 1940: ǂb t.p. (I. Heliade Rădulescu)

670     LC data base, 04-28-88 ǂb (hdg.: Heliade-Rădulescu, Ion, 1802-1872; usage: Ion Heliade Rădulescu, I. Heliade Rădulescu)

670     Dic. lit. române de la origini pînă la 1900, 1979 ǂb (Heliade-Rădulescu, Ion, b. 01-06-1802, d. 04-27-1872)

670     Mic dic. encic., 1978 ǂb (Heliade Rădulescu, Ion, 1802-1872)

2. Names with a prefix

RDA F.11 provides instructions on how to record surnames that include an article and/or preposition. RDA F.11.9 addresses Romanian surnames with the prefix de:If the prefix is de, record the part of the name following the prefix as the first element. Otherwise, record the prefix as the first element.”

Example (in MARC format):

100 1  Hurmuzaki, Eudoxiu de, ǂd 1812-1874

400 1  Hurmuzaki, Eudoxiu, ǂd 1812-1874 ǂw nna

400 1  De Hurmuzaki, Eudoxiu, ǂd 1812-1874

400 1  Hurmuzachi, Eudoxiu, ǂd 1812-1874

400 1  Hurmuzachi, Doxachi, ǂd 1812-1874

400 1  Hurmuzaki, Eudoxius, ǂd 1812-1874

670     Documente privitoare la istoria românilor, 1887- (a.e.) ǂb v. 13, added t.p. (Eudoxiu de Hurmuzaki)

670     LC manual cat. ǂb (hdg.: Hurmuzaki, Eudoxiu, 1812-1874; usage: Eudoxiu de Hurmuzaki)

670     Dic. enc. "Cartea Românească," 1931: ǂb p. 1687 (Hurmuzachi, Eudoxiu (Doxachi), scriitor român)

670     Dic. enc. romîn, 1964: ǂb v. 2, p. 733 (Hurmuzaki, Endoxiu)

670     Mic. dic. enc., 1978: ǂb p. 1355 (under Hurmuzaki: Eudoxiu)

670     Fragmente zur Geschichte der Rumänen, 1878-1886: ǂb v. 1, t.p. (Eudoxius Freiherrn von Hurmuzaki) p. v (Eudoxius Hurmuzaki)

For Romanian names in Cyrillic script, see: Moldavian and Romanian.

For a discussion of Romanian names, see Wikipedia, n.d., “Romanian name,”

For a sampling of Romanian surnames, see Wikipedia, n.d., “Category: Romanian-language surnames,”

Revised : Oct. 15, 2015